I, like many other teenage girls and boys, read “Looking for Alaska” by John Green. I’ve read the book twice but the first time I didn’t finish it all the way through so I don’t think it really counts. The book is about lots of different things, for example it deals with going to a new school, dealing with bullies, pulling the perfect prank, and making high school count. There will be spoilers in this post so stop reading if you want to read this book on your own.
I’ve read many of John Green’s books and even though this one in particular is not my favorite, it was a good read. The book is split between a before and after someone passes away in the story, and you may have guessed who that person is, but to clarify, it is in fact Alaska Young. The before deals with how Miles, the main character, is trying to fit in with everyone, and he encounters two people who would have never thought he would become friends with. They go on pranking people and living the normal high school experience, with the added bonus of living on campus. Miles finds out who he really is and he falls in love with Alaska who is currently taken, but it doesn’t stop him. The night before she dies Miles, Alaska, and Chip (his other friend), are playing truth and dare while Chip and Alaska were drunk.
After Alaska died, Miles and Chip wanted answers as to why she died. She left in the middle of the night, still drunk, and was driving somewhere, which you later find out is to her mother’s grave. Miles and Chip feel at fault because the distracted the dean so she could drive away. They want to find out if she killed herself or if it was an accident. The “After” part of the book is left to deal with the mystery that is, Alaska Young. That’s not the focus of the post is though, it’s what Alaska thought if life and death and what happens when you reach the end.
Before Alaska died, she was obsessed with the Labyrinth. She reads a book that talks about “escaping” the Labyrinth. They don’t tell you what the Labyrinth is though, it’s whatever you think it is. She introduces the book to Miles and asks him how to escape the Labyrinth, and Miles being Miles, doesn’t have an answer for her until she passes away. Alaska believes that the Labyrinth is the endless cycle of life, living life the way other people want you to. She inevitably escapes it due to her tragic, what is believed to be her suicide.
In Looking For Alaska, alaska wants to know how to escape the Labyrinth, the inevitable death. She asks if it’ll be painful, how instant “instant death” really is, and what happens after death. after reading the article written by the man who was on death row I saw a connection between the both of them. The guy asks the same questions basically. They wonder how instant “instant” death is and how people chose how their life will end. The article talks about how people get to chose how to die as if it makes up for the fact that they have to die. Looking For Alaska talks about suicide and how people choose how to take their own life. They ask questions that can only be answered after death, which they both soon have the answers to. They both soon realize the inevitable, they can’t escape the Labyrinth until you die. The Labyrinth is whatever you make of it. The Labyrinth can be a good thing if you want but if you are always focusing on how to get out of it, it’ll seem like a bad thing or a punishment, something you want to get out of.